When I started this blog, I decided to remain anonymous, signing all my posts as Newbie Author. I worried that, since I planned to blog about mistakes made while writing my first novel, I thought it might hurt later efforts to attract agents and publishers.
I’ve decided that my original reasons for blogging anonymously were unwarranted. However, now that I can see my way to the completion of my manuscript, and I have started to think seriously about getting it published, I noticed that there are a half-dozen authors with books in print using variations of my real name. (How dare they!)
Realizing that a new author needs to stand apart from the crowd, I decided I needed a pen name.
I thought the process of selecting a pen name would be easy. Instead, I found myself agonizing over the nuances of each name I considered. What impressions might it create? Were there hidden meanings? For the longest time, none of the names felt right. I bombarded friends and family with ideas. Often, when I researched names that felt okay, I would find it already belonged to some one famous (or in one case, infamous). But finally, I invented a name that felt right — and didn’t belong to anyone else on Facebook or Google.
I selected Dax MacGregor as my pen name. Dax now has his own author website.
But since Newbie Author has received a lot of positive feedback and recognition, I didn’t want to remove all mentions of him. For example, Newbie received an invitation to guest blog at Novel Publicity. He’s also been interviewed by Self Publishing Coach. On Twitter, he’s developed a modest following.
I also publish a daily newsletter filled with trending articles from around the web related to writing called First Manuscript Daily News.
There’s more to come!
Six Steps to Maximize Writing Productivity
Six steps to take before launching a writing session that will prevent writer’s block and significantly improve your productivity.
Condense a Novel into One-Page Synopsis
Sooner or later you will need to condense your entire novel down to a one-page synopsis. For novelists, it’s a herculean task. Here’s how I did it.
Overcome Writer’s Block By Sharpening Your Vision
When I find myself sitting staring at the display, or pressing the backspace key in equal proportion to other keys, I’ve often found my block is due to the lack of clarity in the scene I am attempting to describe – or, sometimes it’s because my gut is telling me my approach to the scene isn’t right.
Here is how to break through.
Join a Critique Group
My brother recommended joining a critique group. It turned out to be the best writing tip I’ve ever received, not only did I finally receive quality feedback. I found friends who shared common goals.